Dark purple, finger staining, sweet summer blackberries. Everywhere I turned it was blackberries. It’s fun when inspiration hits for a new recipe. With blackberries piled high at the market, a jar of good blackberry jam in the pantry, and a friend who said something about making a blackberry sauce, it all came together.
Pork and Fruit – A Classic Combination
Pork and fruit are a classic combination. Think of prosciutto and melon, ham and pineapple, pork roasts with apples, peaches, figs or cranberries. Whether dried fruit or fresh, pork and fruit compliment each other beautifully. Why not blackberries?
Blackberries, Sauce and a Test Buddy
I’d been making this new blackberry wine sauce for a few weeks with great results and couldn’t wait for someone else to try it out. Then I got an emergency cooking email from a friend. She needed a menu for a dinner party, fast. Not too difficult, had to be delicious and elegant enough for her special guests. Bingo. I knew just what to recommend.
Pork Tenderloin – Fast, Lean, Easy
In situations like this, my first thought is always pork tenderloin. Pork tenderloin is lean, easy and fast to prepare. It works equally for elegant or casual dinners and lends itself to a variety of fabulous sauces. It was also the perfect opportunity to introduce my new sauce recipe.
Easy Sauce – Blackberries, Wine, Jam & Vinegar
This sauce is a gorgeous deep purple. The texture, chunky from the berries. The flavor, not too sweet, tempered by shallots, garlic, sweet vinegar and red wine. Its easy to make and leftovers will last the better part of a week in the refrigerator…if you have any leftovers.
For the fruit spread, I use a high quality, lower sugar jam. I love the jams from Mountain Fruit in Chico, California. Their jams explode with pure fruit flavor and are lower in added sugar than many others. For wine, I used Merlot in this recipe, but other red wines will work.
A tip on cooking with wine – instead of opening a big bottle to cook with, I use the little mini airplane sized bottles. They are available at the grocery store in 4 packs for an inexpensive price too. You can open just what you need. For this sauce, 2 bottles will do, even though that is just short of the 2 cups. It works fine.
For the vinegar, you can use regular Balsamic or treat yourself to a big splurge and try the Star Blueberry vinegar from Vom Fass. I’ll warn you, it’s expensive stuff, but worth every precious drop. Think like buying fine wine or perfume. The vinegars are made in Germany.
Read more about them on the website link above. Here is the store locator link. Their vinegars make a wonderful gift for the foodie in your life. In fact, the blueberry vinegar is so good you can drizzle is all alone over your meat, fish, duck, even ice cream and yogurt. It’s so delicious you can taste it right off the spoon. It’s addicting.
The centerpiece of Christine’s menu was this pork tenderloin with blackberry wine sauce. She emailed me after the party and told me two guests admitted they never really ate pork tenderloin, only to happily enjoy second helpings. Now that’s what I like to hear! Happy guests make for a happy hostess and a successful dinner.
Blackberries – Fresh or Frozen
Take advantage of summer blackberries and try this easy sauce. it works beautifully with roast salmon and seared duck breast as well. No fresh blackberries? Frozen, thawed blackberries will work as well.
For tips on trimming pork tenderloin, see photos in this post.
If you want to try and make homemade jam, here is a recipe from Carrie at Deliciously Organic. She uses strawberries, but I’ll bet blackberries would be equally great. I want to try this recipe with blackberries.
Mountain Fruit Co. in Chico, Ca. Look for their fruit spreads at better grocery stores.